Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Update to This week at Brush-Paper-Water...

Red Squirrel, 1.75" x 2.25"
Tracy Hall

My sincerest apologies to Tracy Hall, one of my featured artists on the showcase this past year, for inadvertently leaving her out of the slide review. Fortunately, she caught the omission and gently pointed it out to me. She's included now, so new viewers will see the whole show -- 29 wonderful artists!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

This week at Brush-Paper-Water...

October Afternoon, 14" x 21"
Robin Purcell

One year ago, I set myself the challenge to expand appreciation for watercolor. Encouraged by Robin Purcell, I began a watercolor showcase blog, Brush-Paper-Water, with Robin as my first featured artist. It has been a wonderful year, full of discoveries: new artists, new approaches to watercolor, and new friends. Thank you to everyone who participated and contributed to a successful venture. Please pop over to Brush-Paper-Water to see a retrospective slide show featuring one painting by each of the 29 artists whose work appeared on the blog.

I'm looking forward to a new year of sharing watercolors by a whole new bunch of artists. And now I'm going out for a celebratory drink!! Cheers!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Joys of the season...

Back when we had far more time than money, Señor Terremoto and I created many of our Christmas ornaments from bits and pieces of inexpensive supplies. These clothespin dolls provided many hours of fun and have had a place of honor on our Christmas trees ever since. (We had a great time with the details, some of which don't show well on the slides -- the ballerinas have painted on toe shoes, the medieval and Spanish ladies have lace-edged pantaloons, the monk has a tonsure, and the wizard has a magic wand.) We don't have a traditional tree this year, so I photo'd them hanging in the sweet olive hedge along the driveway.

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

This week at Brush-Paper-Water...

Move in Closer, 2006, 24" x 18"
watercolor and gouache on acrylic-primed paper
David Coffin

David Coffin is another artist who came into my life via the internet -- I'm constantly amazed at how that has expanded our horizons. If you dig a bit into his past, you discover a man of rather diverse and unusual talents. He was an excellent traditional watercolorist back in the 1970s, then became fascinated with tailoring clothing and proceeded to develop instructional books on that subject and worked as an editor and writer at Threads Magazine for many years.

In his recent watercolors, David has taken exploration of materials to quite astonishing levels -- his work is incredibly rich in color, full of fantastic flowing shapes, and really quite mysterious.

Please visit Brush-Paper-Water to see more of his work. And when you link to his blog, be sure to take time to visit his daily painting blog, Eyes and Skies, for some wonderful studies utilizing the unique properties of watercolor.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Our Lady of Guadalupe...

Having spent the first 30-some years of my life in Wisconsin, I still can't get used to the idea of roses blooming in December. However, here we are on December 12, the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and her namesake rose still has blooms. This charming rose, which we've had for three or four years now, has bloomed repeatedly since last spring, but it is nothing short of miraculous to see the flowers at this time of year.

(Sorry the image is somewhat out of focus -- I was crouched over in the rain trying to get this picture.)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fish out of Water challenge...

Fish out of Water by Chris Beck
watercolor, 6" x 6"

Chuey by Pablo Villicana Lara
watercolor, 16" x 12"

Well, we certainly came at this challenge from different directions!! I took the literal approach and Pablo took the virtual -- and I think the much more difficult road. While I was thrilled just to find an excuse to put this vintage planter on the wonderful fish fabric from my stash, Pablo was putting *himself* in the role of "fish out of water" by painting an animal -- and on top of that, as a commission!! (He never does either of these things!!) He says, "I was totally nervous 'cause this is so out of my comfort zone. The great thing about challenges is that they challenge us to grow as an artist whether it be techniques, thought processes, or just taking on something that we wouldn't normally think of painting."

For me, painting the single-color fish planter was a technical challenge. I finally settled on a base of raw sienna and rose madder genuine because it lifted off the paper very easily for the highlights on the ceramic and could be mixed with purple for shadows. The fish fabric allowed me to play with masking fluid, one of my favorite things in my bag of watercolor tricks! On the advice of my friend Connie Williams, I used Winsor-Newton masking fluid instead of my usual brands and I loved the ease of applying it -- it's very fluid and makes it easy to mask very fine details. I painted the entire background teal, waited for it to dry and then masked all the fishie shapes. When I had finally finished painting the ceramic fish, I applied the dark fabric color to the background. I let everything dry thoroughly, then removed the masking fluid and toned the background to give it depth.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Watermedia Showcase award...

Snail Mail by Chris Beck
watercolor, 6" x 6"

"Snail Mail" is currently showing on the Watercolor Artist Blog because it won an honorable mention in the Watermedia Showcase international competition. You can view the show here. The winners will also be published in the February 2010 issue of Watercolor Artist magazine.

This painting was the happy outcome of an invitational challenge from Jelaine Faunce back in the early part of the year. My watercolor buddy Pablo Villicana Lara and I joined oil painters M. Collier and Jelaine in this challenge to create still-life paintings using a plain white envelope as the common object.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

This week at Brush-Paper-Water...

Light Track #2, 22" x 30"
Linda Hancock

One of the marvels of the web is the opportunity to discover new artists through chance encounters on somebody's blog or website. One of the drawbacks is that you don't always remember where you found the path!! I somehow discovered Linda Hancock's Best of Show painting at earlier this year. From there, I popped over to view her website and then promptly sent her an invitation to my showcase blog. It turns out that we both lived in Madison, Wisconsin for many of the same years and had common acquaintances but somehow never crossed paths ourselves. I hope to remedy that on my next visit to Madison.

In addition to her fabulous bike paintings, Linda explores light and shadow in many different contexts, all with expert handling of watercolor.

Please click over to Brush-Paper-Water to see more of Linda's work and link to her website to see other watercolors and her wonderful calligraphy.